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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 22 reviews
on April 18, 2016
The Black Rifle is the standard reference on the history of the AR-15/M-16. I turn to this book regularly for information and insight and I'm constantly amazed at the level of detail and insight the book provides. This is not a 'general interest' publication; this is really targeted more to the collector and historical enthusiast. Of particular interest to me is the extraordinary detail the authors go into to discuss and timeline out the development, testing and adoption of the M-16 by the US military. Purchasers need to keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive history of the M-16; the book was published in the late 1980's and has not been updated since then. The rest of the history of the rifle is covered in the second volume offered by Collector Grade Publication.

I give the book 4 out of 5 stars for one reason - the very awkward and sometimes confusing layout. The publishers used a very clumsy two column layout that often breaks for the insertion of quoted material, making the narrative hard to follow in places. They would have done much better with a full page layout. On the other hand the quirky layout may be part of it's charm. Who knows. It no longer bothers me - the quality of the content more than makes up for the layout issues - but new buyers need to be aware that certain sections can be hard to follow.

In the end, though, this is a serious, well documented, fascinating and IMPORTANT work on one of the word's most important battle rifles. Highly recommended.
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on December 26, 2015
You can read online gun forums until your eyes are bleeding and you will obtain the latest gossip, rumors, errors, stupid myths and so forth, or you could read this book and get the hard, cold facts all about the AR and the development of both the rifle and the .223/5.56 NATO cartridge.

This is simply a "must have" book for anyone who really wants to get into the detailed history of how this rifle came to be, and what a struggle it faced getting adopted by the military and the idiotic mistakes and errors made at the very beginning of its use in actual combat, which, to this day, are repeated by idiots on gun forums and elsewhere.

Read this book and your respect for the AR-15 platform will soar and you will realize why the AR and the 5.56 remains, to this day, the most widely used small arms by the US military and many other armed services around the world.
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on August 24, 2017
If you used them back in the day or not until today and huger for knowledge about the rifle, these early times, or just the workings of military procurement, this is a must have. this is not the only book you need but any collection of modern military reference books is incomplete with out it.
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VINE VOICEon December 25, 2013
The Black Rifle is one of the definitive books of the M16 series of rifles and a must have for the serious student and collector of the rifle. The other book being The Black Rifle II. There is an huge amount of information in these books that just can not be found anywhere else. Even worst is the books themselves are often expensive and hard to find. My advice is that if you really want to know about the rifle from people who designed, built, improved, developed and redeveloped the system is to get both books when you can find them, hopefully at a good price. The entire other stack of AR 'books' I own all went to the donation box at the local library, I just plan didn't need them anymore.
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on November 3, 2013
Still making my way through the book, the only issue is that it is now dated information - the final pages are in regards to the adoption of the "new" M4 Carbine. Loads of information on the production history of the M16 series of rifles (have not found reference to the M16A3 or M16A4). If you are interested to know why the M16/M4 series weapon system is still the reigning king of the US Military, read this book!
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on June 28, 2013
A meticulously researched and detailed work, telling the tortuous and twisted path the AR-15 has traveled, from Armalite's 'Rifle Of The Future' to today's ubiquitous M4. Variations, developmental sidetracks and dead ends, and spectacular but failed concepts--SPIW, anyone?--are all part of the legacy of Eugene Stoner's creation.
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on September 21, 2013
The hands-down best collection of all technical data from both the project to procure the rifle itself and all of the projects that led to and influenced the adoption of the m16. A must-read for all serious armorers and historians of the m16 rifle.
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on September 28, 2015
Book is very deep it how this rifle came to be.
This is exactly what I was looking for.
A truthful story about the AR rifle.
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on March 7, 2014
Excellent book on the history of how a weapon/weapon system is developed for the US military. Great insight into the engineering, R&D, testing and politics that created what is now considered a common platform for a modern semi-automatic rifle.
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on March 16, 2015
Great reading if your into this stuff???
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